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Old Jail Museum

10 Ashby St, County House Square, Warrenton, VA 20186
+1 540-347-5525
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Ranked #3 of 9 attractions in Warrenton
Type: Museums
Owner description: Built in 1808, the front portion of the jail originally contained four cells, each of which was approved to house 40 prisoners. In 1823, after only 15... more » Owner description: Built in 1808, the front portion of the jail originally contained four cells, each of which was approved to house 40 prisoners. In 1823, after only 15 years of use, the 1808 jail was deemed insufficient and a new stone jail was built just to the rear of the older structure. The 1808 jail was then converted into a house for the jailor with a kitchen made of the leftover stones from the "New Jail" added in 1823. The rear structure contains original cells as well as an exercise yard, which was also used as a hanging yard. Hangings took place in the yard until 1896. This is one of the most perfectly preserved old jails in the Commonwealth, and was operated as a jail until 1966. Today, the Old Jail is a history museum focusing on the histories of the Town of Warrenton, Fauquier County, and the Commonwealth of Virginia. The artifacts that make up the museum's exhibitions have all been donated by generous local citizens. « less
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13 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Warrenton, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2013

The old jail museum is located in the charming town of Warrenton, VA. It is a relatively small museum but with lots of content relating to historic Warrenton and the Civil War. Entrance is free, with donations accepted and appreciated. You tour on your own, but there is always a docent present to provide information or answer questions. We have... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
NYC
Top Contributor
146 reviews 146 reviews
82 attraction reviews
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2013

Doesn't look like much on the outside, but there is plenty of history inside. Lots of exhibits from the Civil war too. Upstairs there are actual jail cells

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Herndon, Virginia
Top Contributor
402 reviews 402 reviews
79 attraction reviews
178 helpful votes 178 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2013

We enjoyed our visit to the jail. We were greeted by a lady who has been there for many years. Although this is a self guided tour, she told us the history of both jails. She was very knowledgeable. The front part of the jail originally contained four cells, holding 40 prisoners each. After 15 years, it was decided to... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Marshall, Virginia
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
21 attraction reviews
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2013

This exceeded my expectations. A very well presented museum within the 2 old jails. There is information on the jails themselves as well as local Civil War artifacts and information. Each room holds something different; the complete 1920's dental room is intriguing and the solitary confinement cells are actually quite harrowing. There is plenty of written information that can be... More

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Denver
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
4 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

We enjoyed this visit. The lady who attended the jail was very knowledgeable. Amazing that this building was still standing after the fire. A little piece of history that I am glad is still standing.

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Montreal, Canada
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
4 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2013

Simple picture of jailhouse life, with other exhibits of the period, including cooking, local life and dignitaries, a dentist's surgery (ewww!) and costumes. A pair of grim metal cells are also on display. Friendly and knowledgable local lady attends the museum. Not the Smithsonian, but worth a visit if you are there with time on your hands.

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Warrenton, Virginia, United States
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2013

A lot of local history packed in one place. Kids love the scary jail cells! Unbelievable that it was used as recently as 1965!

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Marshall, Virginia
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
14 attraction reviews
87 helpful votes 87 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2013

The old jail museum is extremely interesting and very well run. The staff is very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. I go here a couple of times a year. There is no admission fee but donations are welcome. :) They also host ghost tours sporadically throughout the year for a fee. I have not been on one of these yet, but... More

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Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2012

We took a few minutes to walk around while checking out the rest of Warrenton. Very interesting! The museum also serves as kind of a general museum with other exhibits not relating to the jail. If you get a chance you should check it out... fun and educational.

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Auckland Region, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
8 attraction reviews
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2012

The old jail museum is an excellent little museum that gives a great insight to the history of both the jail and Warrenton. I recently had an afternoon in Warrenton and spent about 1.5 hours in this little museum. The level of detail in some of the displays was excellent and presented well. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the... More

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